A graphic organizer is a visual diagram that shows the relationships among a number of ideas. Use graphic organizers to help students see the important interrelationships in the information they are reading or to become aware of the way authors have structured a text. These insights help students with their own writing as well as reading. Using graphic organizers helps students:
- See how ideas are organized or organize their own ideas.
- Use a concrete representation to understand abstract ideas.
- Arrange information so it is easier to recall.
- Understand the hierarchy of ideas (from larger to smaller).
- Understand the interrelationship of complex ideas.
As you are working with a group of students, you can create the graphic on an easel, the chalkboard, or a projected transparency. Discussing the information and ideas is the important link to understanding. You can stimulate discussion by inviting students to work with partners or in small groups to generate their information and then share with the whole class.
From Guiding Readers and Writers by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2001 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.